West Seventy Fourth Street Residence
May 28, 1985
91 frail elderly residents living in a congregate care setting
General Contractor: Tishman Construction
Major Funders: The Durst Organization, NYS Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Mix of private pay units and very limited number of units eligible for SSI Congregate Care Level III based payments
New York State Supported Housing, U.S. Departmentof Housing and Urban Development-McKinney Funding, NYS Department of Health
In 1983, the news spread through the Upper West Side that the Lincoln Square Home for Adults at 74th and Amsterdam was closing. The owner of this private for-profit adult home had sold the building and had given the 150 residents 30 days’ notice to find other housing. Many of the frail elderly people who lived there became frightened and quickly moved out. A hardy band of about 40 residents refused to move out of their homes. They fought their eviction in court and in the press. They lost their court case, but the publicity surrounding their fight led community leaders to seek out an organization to help. The developer, who had bought the building to convert to luxury condominiums, was also struck by their plight. So a plan was forged and WSFSSH purchased five floors of the building as a condominium, one floor for congregate dining, activities, offices and new kosher kitchens, four floors to remain as adult home rooms, and a separate lobby was created on Amsterdam Avenue.
WSFSSH took control of the home on May 28, 1985. The new adult home was named West Seventy Fourth Street Home, because of its location on 74th Street, but most especially because of the name’s initials: W.S.F.S.H.! One of the most touching parts of the takeover was when those residents who remained were able to welcome back a former resident who had been summarily discharged to another facility by the former operator. This gentleman continues to live at 74th Street, his home now for over 25 years.
In 2011, the name of the program changed to West 74th Street Residence, to reflect contemporary preferences to live in Residences and avoid the perceived stigma of the institutional name “Home.”
As an adult residence, West 74th Street provides not only affordable housing in single or double rooms and social services, but also congregate dining, trained staff available 24 hours a day to assist with activities of daily living such as bathing, medication management, and crisis intervention. The Residence is licensed to serve up to 95 people.